Variations and Special Games
Most keno operators offer a menu of special options, again to infuse the basic game with more variety and interest. Some of the more common options include betting catch-alls, top/bottom or left/right, or edges. Most of these options have special payout rates, and they may have different minimum bets.
A catch-all ticket allows you to select a small set of numbers, say three to six numbers, and offers bigger-than-normal payouts if you catch all the numbers you selected. For example, on a $3 bet, a six-spot catchall might pay you as much as $16,000. Such a huge payoff on such a small investment naturally appeals to the gambler, but remember that the house edge on keno — and especially on high-payout options — is incredibly high, so your odds of actually winning are quite slim.
As always, you have to mark your ticket, usually with “CA,” if you want this betting option. Catch-all bets usually cannot be made on the same ticket as a way or combination bet.
Most casinos allow you to play top/bottom or left/right tickets. In these options, the ticket is divided into two groups of forty numbers each; you bet whether most of the numbers drawn will fall on the top or bottom, or on the left or right. Generally, you have to catch thirteen of the twenty drawn numbers on the half you selected to win.
Some casinos also allow you to place an “edges” bet. This is when you mark all thirty-two numbers along the top, bottom, and side edges. House rules determine how many you need to catch on this ticket to win. Ask keno personnel or look for it in the casino's keno brochure.
Some casinos offer a variation called “stud keno.” This is a progressive jackpot game, where the top prize keeps growing until someone wins it. The jackpot contribution may be a percentage of total wagers on each individual game, a flat amount per hour or day, or any of a number of methods decided by the house. Keno personnel can tell you whether they offer this game and any special rules, such as minimum bets, attached to it.